PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai reportedly offered Welshman Ncube the vice-presidency in an effort to entice him to join a grand coalition, a claim the MDC leader has furiously denied.
This emerged as Tsvangirai unveiled the “Coalition for Change”, a pact between his MDC-T party, Simba Makoni’s Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn (MKD) and Zanu Ndonga’s Reketai Semwayo.
Tsvangirai is believed to have dangled the vice-presidency before Ncube in a bid to have all parties opposed to President Robert Mugabe rallying behind him.
Announcing the coalition yesterday, Makoni said they remained open to a possible 11th hour pact with Ncube and Zapu leader Dumiso Dabengwa, who last week announced their own pact.
“The MDC-T, MKD and Zanu Ndonga have today (yesterday) agreed to enter into a coalition for change in order to offer solutions to the problems facing the country,” he said.
“The coming together of these parties was necessitated by the shared commitment to bring to an end the current hardships confronting Zimbabweans, due to the failed policies of the past.
“The engagement process was between five political parties and Ncube himself.”
Makoni said the leaders of the five political parties have been in consultation since the time they issued a joint statement on the need for reforms before elections.
“We have continued to discuss not only the Constitutional Court ruling and the Sadc extraordinary summit, but we were hoping to be five at this table today and this is why we conclude this statement by maintaining our willingness and readiness to work with others including Professor Welshman Ncube.”
Makoni said the parties were now negotiating horse-trading some of their parliamentary and council election slots as part of the deal.
But Ncube has furiously denied ever taking part in any negotiations on the formation of a coalition.
“We as a party were never involved in any grand coalition talks with anyone,” he said on microblogging site Twitter on Sunday. “We never attended a single meeting of such proposed coalition.”
Ncube was in Lower Gweru yesterday and could not be reached for comment on the latest claims.
On the coalition, Makoni said their aim was to support each other in the National Assembly and local government elections and constitute a “genuine government of national unity after winning the elections”.
Sources claim the MDC-T had offered Ncube the second vice-presidency under a five-party grand coalition, among several other positions.
MDC-T secretary for international relations, Jameson Timba, said his party would field candidates in all constituencies, but would support the candidatures of Makoni and Semwayo in Makoni Central and Chipinge Central respectively.
“Basically the MDC-T has fielded candidates in all 210 constituencies, but I can tell you that we will be supporting the candidature of Makoni in Makoni Central and Semwayo in Chipinge Central,” he said. “I am unable to say off-hand how we will support other MKD candidates in other constituencies as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is yet to release names of those who went through the nomination court.
“It is only after winning the elections that we will announce Makoni’s position in the government and how we will allocate the 25 Cabinet posts to the three parties in the coalition.”
Turning to threats by Mugabe to pull out of Sadc, Makoni said: “Mugabe pulled Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth, made a unilateral proclamation of the election date and unilaterally amended electoral laws, and that is why it is important for Zimbabweans to determine their destiny and vote for change of power so that there are no more leaders who change things unilaterally.”